Food Rules I Have Learned While Traveling.
“Travelers never think that they are the foreigners.’ ~Mason Cooley
You can eat sushi with your hands.
Sashimi is always eaten as a first course before sushi. You can’t eat sashimi with your hands.
Don’t eat anything with your hands in Chile.
You can eat with your hands in Burma (Myanmar). People eat food with their hands in Bangladesh, India, Nepal, Sri Lanka and Pakistan. People eat with their hands in other countries in Africa and Asia also.
Always keep your hands above the table in Mexico.
Eat only with your right hand in Egypt. (This is true for many Middle Eastern countries) Salting your food is a huge insult.
In Germany, eat your meat with a fork. Use a knife only if it is necessary. If you eat meat with a fork, it lets the cook know the meat is tender.
Pad Thai is always eaten with a fork and a spoon. Thai people eat most of their food with a spoon in their dominant hand and a fork in the other. Chopsticks are only served for soup.
Mezze (small plates) come before a meal.
Pasta is not a main course.
In Uganda, eat fried grasshoppers with your hands like chips. In Mexico eat them on a taco with guacamole and cheese. In Thailand eat them on a stick. In Burma, peel off the head and wings and gulp.
In Burma, they say that anything that walks on the ground can be eaten.
Margherita Pizza is really the only thing Italians consider pizza and should be eaten with a knife a fork. The pies are usually served unsliced. It is not a hard and fast role like never cut your spaghetti with a knife and fork.
In Mexico, never eat tacos with a knife and fork.
In France, don’t eat the bread before the meal.
Never turn down vodka in Russia or tea in Turkey.
In France, eat frogs legs like you would eat fried chicken –with your hands in a casual setting, with a knife and fork in a formal restaurant.
In Kenya drinking cows blood mixed with milk is a special treat.
Chinese people do not eat fortune cookies for dessert but oranges for good luck. It is illegal to eat an orange in a bathtub in California.
In China you are expected to leave a small amount of food uneaten on your plate. If you finish everything, you are sending the insulting message that not enough food was served to you.
It is rude to burp at a table in Japan. It is not rude to burp at a table in China.
In Singapore gum chewing is illegal.
In Mexico Men make toasts, women do not.
In Russia, Do not drink until a toast has been made.
In Armenia, if you empty a bottle into someone’s glass, it obliges them to buy the next bottle.
In restaurants in Portugal don’t ask for salt and pepper if it is not already on the table. Asking for any kind of seasoning or condiment is to cast aspersions on the cook. Cooks are highly respected people in Portugal.
Eating from individual plates strikes most people in Ethiopia as hilarious, bizarre, and wasteful. Food is always shared from a single plate without the use of cutlery.
In Japan it is acceptable to loudly slurp noodles and similar foods. In fact, it is considered flattering to do so, because it indicates that you are enjoying the food.
Do not eat fugu from an unlicensed chef. The Japanese pufferfish, or fugu, is a delicacy in Japan. It’s also potentially one of the most poisonous foods in the world, with no known antidote. Japanese chefs train for years to remove the deadly portion of the fish before serving it, though generally the goal is not to fully remove it, but to leave just enough of a trace to generate a tingling sensation in the mouth, so the customer knows how close he came to the edge. This was one of my best meals in Japan and I have lived to write this.
At this moment, someone is making a food etiquette mistake.